Reviewed By  Nan van Dissel       September 7, 2023


Author  Shelley Burr

Distributor:       Booktopia/Amazon 
ISBN:                 9780733647857
Publisher:         Hachette. Imprint Hachette Australia
Release Date:   August 2023  


Like many small declining country towns in Australia, Rainer is struggling to survive. It was once a popular truck stop between Melbourne and Sydney but now local businesses are in decline due to roads now bypassing it.

Residents are due to vote on a proposal to conduct a ‘true crime tour’ walking tour, which would highlight the events and the locations of three murders, which were committed seventeen years earlier by the ‘Rainer Ripper’.

Does the town use its dark past to secure a brighter future? Is that it would reopen old wounds the only reason that some residents are fervently against it?

When Lachlan Lewis, a ‘tour crime tours’ operator from Sydney, who is keen to put Rainer on the tourist trail, is murdered on the local café doorstep, by what is perceived to be a copycat killer, its owner Gemma Guillory is drawn into the investigation.

Gemma knows her town and her people, but does she? As every citizen of Rainer is connected to each other, they not only have an incentive to keep each other’s secrets but also to keep secrets from each other.

Unbeknownst to Gemma, Lane Holland (who featured in the author’s first book, best-selling Wake) who is now a prisoner is also drawn into the investigation.

I highly recommend this fast paced gripping crime narrative with its intricate plot, complex characters and many twists and turns by internationally acclaimed author Shelley Burr, a rising star on the world stage.  It will keep you enthralled and guessing until the very last page.